Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ephemeral: Why I Blog

"So much of what we do is ephemeral and quickly forgotten, even by ourselves, so it's gratifying to have something you have done linger in people's memories."  ~ John Williams
Gardens are ephemeral.  Blooms come and go.  The most ephemeral of blooms, like day lilies, last only one day.  Some blooms, like spring bulbs, last for a very short while.  Even roses, whose blooms last for quite some time, still seem to fade hauntingly fast, especially as winter looms on the horizon.

The garden changes through the year.  Bulbs pop up, then back under.  Annuals give one year's worth of pleasure.  Even plantings, like roses, that may last for years, change with the seasons.

Vegetable grow and ripen.  How fast they mature - from seed to bloom, produce, and seed again, in such a very short time.  It becomes a daily ritual to check on the vegetable beds in order to pick the produce when ripe.

And the creatures that visit the garden are probably the most ephemeral of all.  Butterflies seem to stay around for only a few minutes before fluttering off.  Other bugs, like the firefly below, only live long enough to mate and lay eggs.  The mayfly has one of the shortest lifespans, living only a few hours to a day, and is appropriately named - Ephemeroptera.

How to record all this?  The garden changes daily.  Hourly, actually.  How would I remember what happened in the garden last year, last month, or even yesterday?

Someone suggested I keep a blog.  I thought I'd try it.  I'm not a journal keeper.  Organization is not my strongest suit.  But I can take a picture and write about my garden.

I didn't start this blog because I thought it would "linger in people's memories".  It is, after all, just a rose garden blog.

I simply wanted to capture the garden's many ephemeral joys.

I'm joining GardenWalk GardenTalk for Word 4 Wednesday on ephemeral.


  1. I tried more than once to keep a garden journal, because we are always told how important it is to record things ... but it was boring and I never stuck to it. Blogging, however, is dynamic and I love it ... and it's a fantastic way to keep a visual record.

    Gardens are ephemeral, and ever changing, and that's what we love about them. Every day is different.

  2. You have both 'ephemeral' and 'linger' in the quote. Both words were suggested for WFW.

    Actually the garden changes all the time. We can never take the same photo twice. I could no longer find the caterpillar I talked about a few days ago.

  3. So well said...I've not thought of why I blog in such a poetic way but it's true...they are never the same day to day and for that I'm grateful and frustrated! I love the image with the rake in the foreground...sweet!

  4. Nice way to meet other people with the same interest also.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  5. I started my blog to keep in touch with my husband as he moved to get his current job. It was to show him what he was missing in the gardens, neighborhood, etc. Now it has truly become a journal of our lives and our gardens. When I look back at postings for photos I see how ephemeral each moment in time is.

  6. Pisanie dziennika dla siebie, nie - nie robiłabym tego. Wolę pisać coś o ogródku i robić zdjęcia ( oznaczam je datami), a później się tym dzielić z Wami na blogu. Poznaję się tu też inne ogrody i mile spędza czas.Pozdrawiam

  7. Sometimes I think without blogging I wouldn't even notice all the wonderful, ephemeral things. And without the garden I wouldn't realize how quickly (or slowly) time was passing--every day would kind of blend into all the others until suddenly you notice that you're Christmas shopping again. What a lovely depiction of all the constant changes in the garden, Holley. Ephemeroptera is my favorite new word. :)

  8. I decided to blog for the same reasons as you. It's a pictorial record of the changes in my garden.I 'm so glad you decided to blog because I always look forward to your posts!

  9. Perfect! I also blog for this reason. It will be so nice to compare next year to this year.

  10. What a great thought on the word. Blogging really does keep a record of those passing moments. I am like Stacy, blogging helped me focus on the things I would have surely missed. Plus it helps push the envelope a bit promoting change. I did not realize an insect had the Latin name Ephemeroptera, very cool find.

  11. Connie - I agree that blogging, especially with pictures, is much more exciting than just records in journals. Although I suppose for record-keeping personalities, they can gleam a lot of information from it. I just don't have that type of personality!

    One - The garden does change so rapidly. If I don't go outside that day to take photos, I miss so much. Sometimes I have to take photos two or three times a day! Funny how linger and ephemeral are almost opposite but both relate to the garden.

    Cat - haha The rake is like the proverbial hose that's in so many pictures - I really didn't notice it until I looked closer. But I thought it was fitting. I knew other gardeners would relate!

    Cher - You are right! We are a little community of garden loving people!

    Tufa Girl - Everything changes, even lives. Good reason to blog. It will be fun for you to look back many years from now.

    Dewi - When it was suggested, I thought about it for a couple of years before I started this blog. But, it seemed like the only way for me to keep up with anything in my garden!

    Giga - I think blogging is such a great record because of the photos. I would never have remembered what my garden looked like this spring if I hadn't blogged about it!

    Stacy - I agree. Without blogging, I doubt I would look at each plant and each bloom as closely as I do. And I sure wouldn't have noticed all the different bugs!

    dorothy - What a sweet thing to say! I love recording the changes, and the pictures tell so much, I think that is so much of the record.

    Sage Butterfly - I'm already noticing changes in the garden that I wouldn't if I didn't blog. But unfortunately, it does show me how long I've been doing a project without completing it!

    GWGT - Since I get very few visitors, I find that blogging helps me to stay excited about my garden, and how it looks. I am fully aware now when it is not "blog worthy"!

  12. Well I am glad you decided to do it! I enjoy your posts. I love to see what is happening all over and just not here.

  13. What a great post. I couldn't gather my thoughts to an ephemeral post, but I love the ideas that you conveyed.

  14. kacky - Isn't it wonderful being able to see others' gardens - and all over the world!

    GirlSprout - It was a hard word, or at least I thought so. Maybe we should nominate some easy words, like 'green' or 'blossom'!

  15. I love this post, and you are so right, everything in the garden is ephemeral. Daylilies---I love them, but Why oh Why can't their blooms last longer than a day? All that beauty here and gone in few hours. I would like Monthlilies or Yearlilies instead.

    Wonderful depiction of the word, loved it.

  16. It is so apt for someone to say 'there is no such thing as permanence, the only permanent thing is change'! And we are just like any other thing, changing.

  17. A great interpretation of the word - But, you might not have started your blog because you thought it would "linger in people's memories" - but it does. It is my "go to" blog for roses and ideas on how to incorporate them in my garden. You know I'm a huge fan :)
    Regards, Christine

  18. karen - Yearlilies! Wouldn't that be great? They would be a big seller!

    Andrea - Yes, we are definitely changing. In every way - physically, emotionally, mentally - all the time, indefinitely.

    Christine - Oh, thank you! My roses bring me the greatest joy. Maybe because I have so many of them! But, I can just look out at the garden, and it lifts my spirits. So glad you've included roses in your garden!

  19. I'm glad you blog, there is a truth in it. It does create a memory for us to record our thoughts and to express our feelings......I get that in your blog. I think too that observing nature and it's passing is a way to connect to our own significant insignificance....if you know what I mean.....I love your roses!!

  20. Holley how you nailed this W4W. And you were having problems with this word...I love why you blog ...I came to the garden journal part of blogging later in my blog but to capture those fleeting moments, those times we will never see again in the say you have just a rose blog is an underestimate of your blog which is not ephemeral at is a model for me..

  21. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden
    I just knew you would come up with an original take on Donna's word theme and so you have. Blogging is a great way to keep a record of the gardens constant changes. I can look back over last year and contrast it with the year before. The garden and the weather are completely different from year to year.

  22. A very thoughtful post. We all have different reasons why we blog, and what we consider blogging success. I blog to keep my brain thinking about something in addition to the mundane chores of being a stay at home mom to four kids. Learning photography is a happy side effect. Enjoy your blog!

  23. I didn't mention it in my recent post, but you are right I started the blog to force myself to record the garden in photos and words on a regular basis (also to communicate info to my customers). It works too, doesn't it?

  24. Foxglove Lane - I know exactly what you mean by our significant insignificance. Just like the butterflies that visit our gardens. Just passing through for a short period of time.

    Donna - I think blogging captures those fleeting moments so well. I guess because not only is it a record of time, but also of feelings, with pictures included. To be so small, it does a lot!

    Jennifer - How true! Gardens change daily, and the yearly changes are dramatic (at least from a gardeners point of view). And the weather is just as fickle. I think it will be fun to have several years worth of records to be able to look back and compare.

    VW - Learning photography is something I never thought about when I started blogging. But so many have such talent in that area, it really pushes me to try to take better pictures. And in doing that, to see my garden in an entirely different way than I would otherwise.

    carolyn - It does work. I can look back and not only read about my garden, but see pictures of it, and hopefully learn from my mistakes!

  25. I am glad you started your blog! I really enjoy your beautiful roses. One of the reasons I started my own blog was to capture those ephemeral moments in the garden and to share them with someone.

  26. debsgarden - I enjoy getting a peek into everyone else's gardens, too. Isn't it fun to be able to travel around, and see the some gorgeous gardens all from the comfort of a chair!

  27. aloha,

    wonderful post on why you blog and also tie in to this word meme...thanks for sharing

  28. Unknown - I just love finding the little delights in my garden as I go outside, camera in hand, to find a topic to post about. I wouldn't enjoy my garden near as much if I didn't blog. Thanks for commenting.


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